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Lingua Franca

An extinct language of Tunisia

ISO 639-3pml

Population  Extinct.
Region  Tunisia; Dodecanese Islands west bank, Greece; Cyprus; other major Mediterranean ports.
Alternate names   ’Ajnabi, Aljamia, Ferenghi, Petit Mauresque, Sabir
Dialects  Lexicon from Italian and Occitan [oci]. An earlier version may have been a pidginized Latin. On the Barbary Coast of North Africa in 1578, its lexicon came from Spanish and Portuguese. In Algeria in the 1830s, it drew increasingly from French, and later became nonstandard French. May have influenced other pidgins. Reportedly a present-day variety on Aegean Islands, used as pidgin in southeast Mediterranean region, to have mainly Arabic syntax and vocabulary which is 65%–70% Italian, 10% Spanish, and other Catalan [cat], French, Ladino [lad], and Turkish [tur] words.
Classification  Pidgin, Romance based
Language development  Dictionary.
Comments  Documented in Djerba, Tunisia in 1353. Craftsmen; urban workers. Christian, Muslim (Sunni).
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